2019 marks both the 80th anniversary of the MGM film, and the 100th anniversary of L. Frank Baum’s death. Why not consider approaching a local library, museum, historic site, or gallery to see if they’d be interested in hosting a display of your Oz collection? Your collection doesn’t have to be extensive. With the right fit you can share your enthusiasm for Oz any number of ways based on the facility’s focus and the Oz pieces you’d be willing to loan. The larger more professional places plan a year or more in advance, so you need to get the ball rolling now.
There are plenty of special interest museums devoted to dolls, pop culture, music, art, and more where an Oz exhibit would be a fun topic. Library exhibits can range from rare books to modern fiction; you can fill a case with books and biographies about the MGM film. From a community center interested in a case of quilts and crafts, to a puppet theater with a lobby case that’s perfect for Oz puppets, there are many ways to place Oz displays in public view.
Look around and see what venue near you would be a good fit for Oz. Find out if they have an area for short-term or rotating exhibits. Contact the director or curator and ask if they’d be interested in meeting to talk about Oz. At that point, next steps will depend on how fully staffed and professional the facility is and how long the exhibit would be up.
I love to exhibit and have served up anything from a single piece to literally rooms full of Oz. That means I’ve worked with places where a team agreed on each object, which was then measured in advance for specially designed cases, then itemized, photographed and insured in detailed documentation. Even packing and pick up was all done by a professional staff. I’ve also been offered an empty case — or ten — and given the keys to bring whatever I like and arrange it all myself. Anything’s possible, just be sure to determine how much work will be required of you in advance, and decide if you’re interested.
I’ve also supported exhibits where precious things are locked behind glass, and exhibits where security is slim to none; weigh risks as you decide what you’re willing to loan.
This blog is just meant to get you thinking about how to get your Oz autographs, cookie jars, comic books, nutcrackers, Baum books, foreign translations, or feature film posters out for the world to see. Detailed advice on mounting an exhibit would call for more space and time than this blog offers. But as an experienced exhibitor, I encourage you to consider finding a good fit for sharing Oz with others in 2019.